Case Study

WF Fund

The WF Fund’s theory of change is to uplift timeless values by Muslim-led nonprofits while opening doors to funding from community and private foundations.

Foundation Background and Mission

The WF Fund’s theory of change is to uplift timeless values by Muslim-led nonprofits while opening doors to funding from community and private foundations. The WF Fund is now investing in a five-year project to better understand if community foundations are fully living into their mandate by developing relationships with Muslim-led nonprofits. 

The Approach

As the foundation deepened its work supporting Muslim communities, it has identified specific organizations that conduct voter engagement and highlight the power of democracy within the Muslim community.

  • Grantmaking to Muslim civic organizations. WF Fund provides three-year grants to national organizations that conduct civic engagement, advocacy, and voting work for the Muslim community, including Muslim Civic Coalition, Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Emgage. These organizations focus on ground level work, developing relationships with new voters at local mosques and the community centers to ensure that new immigrants and new Americans understand the power of voting, address beliefs or misconceptions about democracy, and share stories and data that speak to the power of advocacy and policy to create change
  • Fostering connections to social services organizations: In supporting Muslim civic organizations, WF Fund has also seen their grantee partners collaborate with social services organizations in their portfolio to integrate voter engagement with issues like homelessness and domestic violence.
  • Working in their backyard: Located in Chicago, WF Fund has supported local voting and advocacy efforts for the Muslim community. This includes working with the Inner City Muslim Action Network in Chicago to ensure that reentry individuals have the opportunity to vote and supporting the Muslim Civic Coalition’s efforts to pass the Faith by Plate Act to provide halal and kosher food options at state-owned or state-operated facilities such as hospitals, schools and prisons. 
  • Inspired Generosity: Stories of Muslim American Compassion in Action: To change the narrative shaped by Islamophobia, the WF Fund seeks to elevate, celebrate, and connect Muslim American stories of impact with traditional, institutional philanthropy. These stories are as diverse as the Muslim community itself, but they carry one common value, giving in response to God’s love. Philanthropy in America is often defined as the love of mankind, yet it goes much deeper for Muslim Americans whose generosity is intrinsically connected to the Creator. The WF Fund wants to bring these stories at the intersection of faith and generosity to the forefront of the philanthropic conversation through a nationally curated and locally informed exhibit that will open in Atlanta in September 2024 and be showcased in cities across the country throughout 2025 and beyond. It is the hope of the WF Fund that these stories will help break down racialized and stigmatized stereotypes, ignite passion for community, create a sense of belonging, and build bridges between the Muslim American community and the philanthropic ecosystem.